That’s it! I just finished my last day at my non-art job. I have been working 4 days a week for an author in another state so a flexible schedule and working from home was convenient, but now it’s time to focus on my art full time. I’m so excited!
I’ve had strangers ask if I just woke up one morning and knew it was time to follow my dream, but my friends know the real story. It took me three long years of planning and building up my teaching schedules and art sales before I could feel comfortable enough to move forward, but here I am. And I know I’ve made the right decision.
As soon as I gave notice at work last month opportunities started to arise. Teaching a week long encaustic class in North Carolina. Presenting at the National Encaustic Conference near Boston. An invitation to teach at Saturday Academy this summer, and the list goes on.
The most stunning sign that I’m making the right decision was from a total stranger who I now consider a true friend. I received an email from a woman I’d never met before, Claribel, saying that she had been looking at my web site, blog and book and thought I looked like a serious artist who could help her as she cleaned out her studio. It seems she worked in encaustic for a time but has moved on to other mediums. She didn’t want her supplies to go to waste and offered them to me free of charge! I told her I’d be happy to help her sell them, but she insisted they be a gift. Without knowing exactly what she had available, I agreed to pay for the shipping, expecting a small box or two of brushes or tins of paint.
What I received was overwhelming! Box after box of paint, brushes, heat tools, scraping tools, wax, griddles, and color charts. I was just about crying as I opened them! And then, in the bottom of the largest box, an R & F hot palette in perfect condition. For that I had to sit down. I’ve always wanted one but I couldn’t justify the cost. I could not be more grateful for Claribel’s generosity and friendship. Our first emails blossomed into the beginnings of a friendship long before those boxes arrived and I am just as thankful for that. I’m preparing a box of my own for her right now and I hope she will get half as much joy from opening mine as I did hers.
After a glass of champagne at exactly 5:00 tonight, I’m hosting a small gathering for Amy Royce, an IEA member visiting from Bend. Those attending are all encaustic painters themselves, so as part of my celebration I plan to share this incredible wealth: Tonight everyone gets free paint from Claribel!
View my original post about Making the Leap to Full Time Artist.